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Waag: Futurelab for design and technology

Starting January 2021, Waag will be part of the basic infrastructure provided by the Dutch ministry for Education, culture and science, with the title of Futurelab for design and technology. This means Waag has been provided with the means to carry out her work to make society more open, fair and inclusive for the next four years. But it also means that we will be focusing on involving you, as a citizen, artist, researcher, designer, into our work even more: join Waag in her expeditions towards the future!

Waag and ‘the future’

At Waag, we know our futures are already here. We are living in an age of rapid technological development, planetary uncertainty and societal fracture. Waag believes another world is possible: a world that is led by the values of fairness, openness and inclusivity. Waag strives to empower citizens to work together on making practical change in the present, in order to realise that world today, for the sake of the future. 

Waag is a middle-ground organisation, identifying with international citizen-based movements that know that another world is possible. She views technology as an instrument for social change. On local, national and global levels, Waag collaborates with citizens, organisations, governments, artists, activists, designers and researchers in projects that effectuate change.

Waag pleads for a radically different approach towards technology. After all, technology is not neutral. Oftentimes, we look at technology as if it is a holy grail, and as if it’s a black box, that produces results that remain unbiased. We accept the power of big tech platforms, without taking into account the disruption this causes for our societies, politics and personal lives. Waag stands for digital sovereignty: to have control and ownership over your own data and behaviour on the internet. Not commercial, but public values and interests should be at the core of our design and use of technology.

This different approach of technology is at the core of Waag. She takes technologies, puts them down on the table, unscrews them and researches what is going on under the hood. She questions new technologies and technological design processes. By knowing what is going on inside of a technological object, by opening the black box, Waag is working towards a more open, fair and inclusive society.

Waag = Futurelab

The work of Waag is hybrid. While exploring the territories of this other world she thinks is possible, she seeks to remember what we have forgotten, and to understand what we need to know, to have and to do, in order to create this other world.

Starting in the spring of 2021, Waag is going to walk towards the future. Will you join us? As the Futurelab for design and technology, Waag will kick off her new status by organising expeditions through all of the Netherlands. Central to this will be going for walks and starting a conversation about the future. Everyone is invited to walk along and talk to their fellow inhabitants, local residents, acquaintances and friends.

In order to create a future that involves everyone, everyone should be involved in its design process. Waag is actively going to travel through the country in order to converse with everyone. What is your desired future, what can you already contribute to that yourself, and what do you need for it? We will talk about that together. Keep an eye on the website: the first walks towards the future will take place in the spring.